After Jimmy Garoppolo lost his favorite safety net in Marquise Goodwin, it was interesting to see who took over the void. George Kittle minus the one crucial hiccup was brilliant.
Kittle is another instance where tragedy has opened the door to a solid discovery. Kittle minus the mistake on his part for the first loss of six points, may have been due to any number of reasons, but that I don’t expect much more of from here on.
The second TD miss was on Garoppolo who uncharacteristically missed an absolute "gimme" as Kittle had shaken the Vikings defender and was as wide open as a receiver could get in the end zone. It was mind boggling.
We’ve witnessed Jimmy G throwing passes into the end zone of a "miracle brand", but on that day he missed a pass for a TD that any one of us could have made.
The Viking game is water under the bridge now. What is important now is that Jimmy now knows he has 2 solid options at all times upon Goodwin’s return to the lineup. All he has to do is stay in character and drill them with perfection as he was doing in the latter part of last year.
It’s hard to tell what will happen with Garçon. I was sure that by now him and Jimmy would be solid. It may be that Pierre couldn’t shake Rhodes. That wasn’t such a big deal, however because Xavier Rhodes is famous for taking opposing teams best receiver out of the equation.
I do have a concern with the amazing Donte Johnson and his movements. Jimmy G was having a bad game accuracy wise, at least for him it was. I couldn’t help but to wonder if Jimmy just had an errant throw, on that particular INT, or did Dante’s sudden move to shake Rhodes take him out of position to make the play. If Jimmy G, and Donte can ever work that situation out, Jimmy will have three of the most reliable targets he could have.
Fans are all over Jimmy G for the INT’s and of course he is the quarterback, and he’ll be held responsible. However from an intellectual position the INT’s make sense. Goodwin who has become Jimmy’s main go to guy is suddenly taken out of the game. Garçon can’t shake Rhodes, leaving Jimmy G down to a rookie who he needs more time, and reps with, in Dante Pettis, along with George Kittle.
Shanahan quickly made his mind up to allow Jimmy three options for the remainder of the contest. Jimmy was going to have to try, and get it done with four weapons Kyle Juszczyk, Trent Taylor, Donte Pettis, and George Kittle. That was almost all that was needed. However fate struck again taking out offensive guard, Mike Person, and his backup Josua Garnett.
After Garoppolo lost the right side of his line was when the accusations of fear started rolling.
I seriously doubt, Garoppolo was shivering in his cleats because of the Vikings rush. Jimmy Garoppolo is no stranger to pressure. Since Jimmy G has been in San Francisco we’ve witnessed some of his finest hours under extreme duress. Some have went along with Danielle Hunter who is claiming fear being the factor prompted by the Vikings relentless pursuit as to why Garoppolo couldn’t deliver. I do believe frustration became a factor, but the Vikings rampage was no more than the Jaguars from last season.
If there was a reason for Jimmy G to be concerned it was having Mike McGlinchey suddenly playing out of position at right guard. That factor may have worried him due to the fact that McGlinchey was learning the position on the job, but that only makes sense.
I do believe there was a sense of urgency within Jimmy G. The 49ers were in the 4th quarter and the 49ers couldn’t get a real rhythm going. The truth is the "suddenly scared" Garoppolo was only a score down, and pressing.
Garoppolo is nobody’s wimp to crumble due to physical pressure, he isn’t the type.
What Danielle Hunter was witnessing was Kendrick Bourne running the wrong route Causing and uncalled for interception, and frustrating Garoppolo. Quarterbacks in fear don’t continue to stand, looking downfield firing the ball, they lay down as soon as the line collapses. We’ve seen that look from 49ers quarterbacks in recent years but not with Garoppolo.
Getting back to George Kittle, if defenses are going to focus all their energy on the other 49ers receivers, I’ve a feeling that George doesn’t mind if he is used all game long. At some point, if defenses pick their poison and leave Kittle alone, he’ll tear a team apart. I hope they do.
Look for Kittle to go buck wild this weekend if the Lions, or any other team thinks that covering, and doubling up on every receiver not named Kittle, they’ll be doomed early. Shanahan will destroy a defense that allows him such an option. Such a response would play right into his hands. The only thing that would save a team is what saved the Vikings in week one. The 49ers would have to be dropping every other pass again.